Determining Demand before Supply will save your LED industry, where there is still a market for 3-5 years

Updated 02:25 PM May 28, 2012
BEIJING – In China, surplus capacity and sliding prices are sounding the death knell for half of the companies making light emitting diode (LED) chips used in Samsung television panels and Sharp computer monitors, with only the large, state-backed players likely to pull through.
Sluggish global sales of TVs and computers may further cut LED chip prices by 20 per cent this year, and consolidation or closure are the only options for China’s smaller LED players, analysts say.
By contrast, Sanan Optoelectronics, China’s top LED chipmaker with a market value of US$2.8 billion (S$3.6 billion), and Elec-Tech International will be among a handful of large companies that will survive as they continue to receive subsidies and incentives from the government, according to analysts.
“That’s China’s strategy. They want their biggest companies to survive” in this restructuring, Nomura analyst Anne Lee said.
For the majority of LED firms, the government is slowly rolling back incentives, including tax breaks, free land and more than US$1.6 billion in cash to buy LED chip-making equipment that had helped sustain the industry for more than three years.
Proview International, whose Shenzhen-based unit is battling Apple over the iPad trademark in China, is grappling with slumping LED prices and fierce competition that have dragged down earnings for other LED companies including Hangzhou Silan Microelectronics and Foshan Nationstar Optoelectronics.
Hangzhou Silan fell 2.9 per cent to 10.10 yuan in Shanghai trading on Friday, while Foshan dropped 1 per cent to 8.10 yuan on the Shenzhen exchange. The stocks were down more than 30 per cent in the past year.
Many LED companies are operating their factories at 50 per cent capacity in China, with up to half of the 700 or so chip-making machines purchased with government money during the boom years in 2009 and 2010 left idle, industry watchers say.
In the past year, overcapacity has shut hundreds of small Chinese makers of LED lighting, according to analysts.
“China’s financial policy is not giving enough support to mid-tier and smaller enterprises,” said Mr Bao En Zhong, executive vice chairman of the semiconductor lighting association in Shenzhen, one of China’s largest production bases for LED lighting. “We may see more factory closures.” REUTERS

Soy will dilate your blood vessels preventing choking

12:58 PM May 28, 2012
NEW YORK – Soy-rich diets have been linked to lower rates of heart disease, but soy supplements alone may not do anything for older women’s blood pressure, according to a United States study.
The findings, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, add to the mixed evidence on the health benefits of soy isoflavones – compounds that are thought to have weak estrogen-like effects in some body tissue.
Researchers have long known that Asian populations with soy-rich diets have lower rates of heart disease compared with people who eat “Western” diets, but it has not been clear whether soy isoflavone supplements have cardiovascular benefits, such as cutting blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
A number of studies have found that intravenous infusions of soy isoflavones may boost the body’s production of nitric oxide and help blood vessels dilate.
“But we don’t take soy by infusion,” said Dr William Wong, a nutrition researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who led the study.
On top of that, he told Reuters, those studies looked at short-term effects on blood vessel function, and not whether there are “sustained” benefits for blood pressure.
So for their study, Dr Wong and his colleagues randomly assigned 24 menopausal women to take either soy isoflavones or placebo tablets for six weeks. The supplement gave a daily dose of 80mg of isoflavones.
All of the women started the study with moderately elevated blood pressure. After six weeks, Dr Wong’s team found that women on the soy supplement were faring no better than those on the placebo.
On average, systolic blood pressure was 136 mm/Hg in the placebo group, and 137 mm/Hg in the soy group. Systolic blood pressure is the first number in a blood-pressure reading, and levels of 140 mm/Hg or above are considered high.
As for diastolic blood pressure, the average in both groups landed at about 80 mm/Hg, or the upper threshold of “normal.”
Dr Wong’s team also did special blood tests to see whether the soy supplement affected the women’s production of nitric oxide, a chemical that dilates blood vessels. They found no effect. Soy has the characteristics of nitric oxide, but there is no link, better study the molecular structure to understand more.
“It was disappointing,” Dr Wong said.
While the study only lasted for six weeks, Dr Wong said that the time period should have been long enough to detect blood pressure benefits if there were any.
“If we didn’t see anything in six weeks, we doubt there would be effects (longer term),” he said.
He said that the health benefits linked to soy in Asian populations may be the result of a lifetime of eating those foods and taking supplements later in life may simply not have enough of an impact.
“I think that if people are looking for a magic bullet against high blood pressure, this is not it,” he added. REUTERS

There is no benefits in eating placenta

Monday, May 28, 2012
New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR – Eating placenta post-birth is a fad that has no scientific study to confirm or deny its benefits.
A confession by Hollywood actress January Jones last week that she pops a placenta capsule when she’s feeling tired or blue has raised questions on the uses of ingesting placenta.

Consultant neonatologist Prof Dr Cheah Fook Choe said advocates of eating placenta after giving birth would have based their support solely on anecdotal evidence.
“The real benefits of ingesting placenta has not been investigated enough.”
Dr Cheah, who works in the paedetriatics department in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said there were implications to consider when eating placenta.
This, he said, included possible infections from organisms present in the placenta.
Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Malaysia president Dr Krishna Kumar echoed Dr Cheah’s sentiments, saying there was no clinical evidence to support the practice of eating placental tissue.
Dr Krishna said eating uncooked organic tissue could lead to complications.
“The idea of cannibalism also comes into question,” he said, adding that there were a lot of abnormal and funny trends worldwide.
Dr Krishna said the use of placental tissue, including animal placenta, has been incorporated into non-Western medicine and was popular among Eastern European countries.
Some of the methods of consuming placenta are via oral tablets, drinks, eating the whole placental tissue, injections and creams.
Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Choong Kuo Hsiang said consuming placenta was the same as eating any other source of protein. “There are no special ingredients, but many cultures in the past have digested it for health or beauty reasons.”
Dr Choong said there was a belief that ingesting placenta brought youthful vitality to the consumer.
“I have often joked with patients about boiling their placenta in soups.”
He said in the 40 years he has been in the profession, none of his patients had requested to keep the placenta for eating purposes.
However, he added that some have taken home the placental tissue due to religious reasons.
“Some patients keep the placenta frozen. They believe it protects the baby against ill-health.”

St Joseph's Church needs repair

By Toh Yong Chuan, Senior Correspondent
St Joseph’s Church in Victoria Street is justifiably proud of its century-old stained glass windows.
Made in 1912 by Italian craftsmen, they form the largest collection of such ornamentation in any church in Singapore, says its rector, or priest-in-charge, Father Michael Teo.
Over the years, however, the windows have fallen into a state of disrepair. Now the church needs $1.2 million to restore the windows and it hopes to raise the amount through donations from its 1,700-strong congregation, well- wishers and a government grant.
According to a 2009 report commissioned by the Preservation of Monuments Board that the church showed The Sunday Times, most of the windows are in a vulnerable or poor state.
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Venetian glass is a type of glass object made in Venice, Italy, primarily on the island of Murano. It is world-renowned for being colourful, elaborate, and skillfully made.
Many of the important characteristics of these objects had been developed by the thirteenth century. Toward the end of that century, the centre of the Venetian glass industry moved to Murano.
Byzantine craftsmen played an important role in the development of Venetian glass, an art form for which the city is well-known. When Constantinople was sacked by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, some fleeing artisans came to Venice. This happened again when the Ottomans took Constantinople in 1453, supplying Venice with still more glassworkers. By the sixteenth century, Venetian artisans had gained even greater control over the colour and transparency of their glass, and had mastered a variety of decorative techniques.
Despite efforts to keep Venetian glassmaking techniques within Venice, they became known elsewhere, and Venetian-style glassware was produced in other Italian cities and other countries of Europe.
Some of the most important brands of glass in the world today, including Venini,[1] Barovier & Toso, Pauly and Seguso.,[2] are still produced in the historical glass factories on Murano. Barovier & Toso is considered to be one of the 100 oldest companies in continuous operation in the world, having been founded in 1295.[3Murano glass is a famous product of the Venetian island of Murano. Located off the shore of Venice, Italy, Murano has been a commercial port as far back as the 7th century. By the 10th century, the city had become well known for its glassmakers,[1] who created unique Murano glass. While Murano glassmakers have settled and operate elsewhere, some say authentic Murano glass is fabricated only in Murano.[2]

It is believed that glassmaking in Murano originated in 9th century Rome, with significant Asian and Muslim influences, as Venice was a major trading port. Murano’s reputation as a center for glassmaking was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing fire and destruction of the city’s mostly wooden buildings, ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano in 1291. Murano glass is still interwoven with Venetian glass.
Murano’s glassmakers were soon the island’s most prominent citizens. By the 14th century, glassmakers were allowed to wear swords, enjoyed immunity from prosecution by the Venetian state, and found their daughters married into Venice’s most affluent families. However glassmakers were not allowed to leave the Republic. Many craftsmen took this risk and set up glass furnaces in surrounding cities and as far afield as England and the Netherlands.
By the end of the 16th century, three thousand of Murano island’s seven thousand inhabitants were involved in some way in the glassmaking industry.
Murano’s glassmakers held a monopoly on quality glassmaking for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enamelled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicoloured glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass. Today, the artisans of Murano are still employing these century-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary art glass and glass figurines to Murano glass chandeliers and wine stoppers.
Today, Murano is home to a vast number of factories and a few individual artists’ studios making all manner of glass objects from mass marketed stemware to original sculpture. The Museo Vetrario (Glass Museum) in the Palazzo Giustinian, which holds displays on the history of glassmaking as well as glass samples ranging from Egyptian times through the present day.
Murano Glass
was produced in great quantities in the 1950s and 1960s for export and for tourists.
[3]
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This should be classified as a National Monument that should qualify for a government grant for the conservation of old buildings that has a national history, it’s stained glass is a classic art made in 1912 by Italian craftsmen and should be carefully preserved, should the church be raising it’s own funds from it’s congregation? Even if it does, the amount of S$1.2 million will not be enough.
– Contributed by Oogle.

A closer look at MAS reforms

“MAS reforms on hedging against high fuel price(buy more when fuel price is low), frequent flyer programs with competitive pricing, never allow your clients to compare apple to apple so you need to revise your Business Turnaround Plan, rising prices when you have the advantage to max out your profitable routes, by maximising the capacity of your carrier for every trip.  Lastly, a good branding with aggressive marketing. This strategy will return you to profitability, but do not expect high profits, to achieve that you need a huge investment. You need to properly manage your hedging of oil, buy the entire year supply when price is low, so you need capital, if not it will wipe out more than 50% of your advantage routes, if you continue like now. – Contributed by Oogle”

Before the introduction of the Business Turnaround Plan, Malaysia Airlines operated 118 domestic routes within Malaysia and 114 international routes across six continents.[18] Malaysia Airlines now flies to 87 destinations across six continents from its primary hub in Kuala Lumpur. It has a particularly strong presence in the Southeast Asia region, which, together with its subsidiary MASWings and Firefly, connects Kuala Lumpur to the most destinations in Borneo Island. Apart from that, the airline has a key role in the Kangaroo Route, on which the airline provides onward connecting flights from main European gateways to major Australian and New Zealand gateways via Kuala Lumpur International Airport, within 5 hours. Malaysia Airlines also operates transpacific flights from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles International Airport via Tokyo. Transatlantic flights from Kuala Lumpur to Newark Liberty International Airport via Stockholm-Arlanda Airport ended October 2009 due to poor passenger loads.
Under the Business Turnaround Plan, numerous routes were axed and frequencies reduced. As of September 2007, Malaysia Airlines flies to 88 destinations. In cooperation with code-share partner airlines, the airline serves more than one hundred destinations worldwide. It was the first airline in Southeast Asia to fly to South Africa, following the demise of apartheid, and the only airline in Southeast Asia that served South America via South Africa until 2012. In 2006, it suspended its routes to Manchester, Vienna, Fukuoka, Chengdu, Nagoya, Xi’an, Cairo, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Zürich under its Business Turnaround Plan.
Malaysia Airlines also owns its own charter flight division. Malaysia Airlines’ charter flights have flown to destinations around the world, such as Guilin, which was previously one of Malaysia Airlines’ scheduled destinations, and Christmas Island. Malaysia Airlines has also been the official airline for the Manchester United Asian Tour[33] It also has a substantial Hajj operation.
Malaysia Airlines has applied for approval to launch 3 weekly Kota Kinabalu – Tokyo Haneda service with Boeing 737-800, effective 15 November 2010. Once receiving regulatory approval, Malaysia Airlines will adjust Tokyo operation. All Kuala Lumpur – Tokyo traffic departs/arrives in Narita, and Kota Kinabalu – Tokyo traffic operates from/to Haneda. The airline ended operations at Tokyo Haneda Airport on 1 February 2012.[34]
In 2012, it suspended services to Cape Town, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Rome, Dammam, Karachi and Surabaya due to unprofitability.[4][35] In addition, the airline also suspended 4 routes from Kota Kinabalu: Tokyo, Osaka, Perth, and Seoul (thus ending Kota Kinablu as a hub). The airline, however, will maintain services in Osaka, Perth, and Seoul to Kuala Lumpur. The airline dropped its service completely to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on 1 February 2012, the airline will continue to serve the city’s primary international gateway, Narita Airport.[36]


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Malaysia Airlines chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof is a very humble gentleman. I traveled with him before, seeing him drag his own luggage along and get the procedures done. Nothing like a big boss.
He told me sometimes he had to travel alone, and he would go to the airport by himself, watch closely the check-in and cabin services. He said he would also talk with other passengers and find out what they feel.
Managing an airline company requires attention to every detail. Md Nor is one such responsible guy.
That said, the national airline is too large a burden to everyone. He couldn’t take the weight any more; neither could his management team, Khazanah and the Malaysian government.
Earlier this month, the MAS-AirAsia share swap deal was officially off. MAS had hoped to bank on Tony Fernandes’ management expertise and AirAsia’s market strength to turn the tide around, but the aspiration was killed in the bud thanks to the intervention of union and political interests.
Both airlines are prepared to maintain its ‘cooperation”
accord, but such cooperation would most likely end up empty talks as the intense market competition will only boost the strong and wipe out the weak.MAS is back to square one. It has to rely on itself to determine its future destiny.Obviously, things do not work in its favour. In its latest quarterly results, the national carrier registered a hefty RM170 million (S$69 million) loss, the fifth consecutive quarterly loss. Its net loss stood at RM2.5 billion last year.
Analysts put the airline’s estimated daily loss at RM5 million.
No companies can survive well in such a cash-draining situation, even with government input. Of course, the government has a
lso made it clear that it will not mobilise taxpayers’ money to resuscitate MAS.

Financial losses aside, MAS’s debt portfolio is now in excess of RM5.6 billion, with under a billion ringgit in cash reserves. It still fumbles to get cash to pay for its new orders, including six A380’s costing billions of ringgit and about to be delivered.
MAS is looking to raise about RM9 billion to relieve its financial stress while the government is setting up a company to purchase the pre-ordered aircraft and lease them back to the national carrier.
If things go as planned, MAS will most likely be able to keep being airborne.
However, none of MAS’ problems have been solved this way. While having to shoulder the heavy interest expenses, it must also address the issue of escalating operational costs and eroding market competitiveness, among other things.
MAS used to have reforms and restructuring, including a successful effort during Idris Jala’s time, but then the momentum did not last too long and MAS is back to its old-time lassitude.
For instance, it now proposes its staff to take unpaid leaves to reduce expenses. In the past it used to deploy VSS on two occasions to axe thousands of workers.
Several years later, the number of its employees has climbed again, and now more than before the VSS schemes.
MAS needs a complete overhaul to survive in the face of a global aviation downturn.

SESAR for Air Traffic Management

 

About SESAR 
The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme is building the future European air traffic management system. It is the technological and operational dimension of the Single European Sky (SES) initiative to meet future airspace capacity and safety needs. As a co-founding member of the SESAR Joint Undertaking together with the European Commission, EUROCONTROL plays a key role in all SESAR work packages. An airport can pack in more landings and take-offs, but it may not go down well with passengers or be good for image. This observation came from Mr Paul Reid, managing director of Nats, which provides air navigation services for London’s Heathrow Airport – the world’s busiest dual-runway airport – and several other British airports. In Singapore, arguments for and against a third runway at Changi Airport surfaced a few months ago after reports of flight delays from a spike in the number of flights. The total number of aircraft movements last year was a 14.5 per cent jump over 2010’s. 
TOUGH ACT 
When something happens at Heathrow… it’s very hard to recover because the schedule is so tight. – Mr Paul Reid, managing director of Nats Tie-up with British firm CHANGI Airport, which has seen strong traffic growth in recent years, wants to remain an airport that others talk about. Last Thursday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) inked a memorandum of cooperation with Nats, a British company that manages the skies over London’s busy Heathrow airport and several other British airports. Both parties aim to exchange ideas and experiences as well as develop and implement ways to tackle air-traffic challenges. Mr Soh Poh Theen, assistant director- general of the Singapore authority, said: ‘CAAS needs to grow Singapore’s air-traffic management capacity to keep pace with the rate of growth of traffic at Changi and the region.’ Nats managing director Paul Reid said Singapore is beginning to experience the effect of sharp increases in traffic movements. Based on the company’s experience in managing some of the world’s busiest airports, he hopes that Nats can work with CAAS to ‘manage its aviation growth in a safe and efficient manner’. Mr Reid noted that both Changi and Heathrow have two runways each. And while Heathrow handled 476,197 take-offs and landings last year, Changi had 302,000. Hence, it might seem like there is no need for Changi to have a third runway. 
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The SESAR project is composed of three phases [1]:

  • a Definition phase (2004–2008), to deliver an ATM master plan defining the content, the development and deployment plans of the next generation of ATM systems. This definition phase is led by Eurocontrol, and co-funded by the European Commission under the Trans-European Transport Networks programme and executed by a large consortium of all air transport stakeholders.
  • a Development phase (2008–2013), to produce the required new generation of technological systems and components as defined in the definition phase. This phase (budget: 2.1 billion euro) is managed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking.[2]
  • a Deployment phase (2014–2020), for a large-scale production and implementation of the new air traffic management infrastructure, composed of fully harmonised and interoperable components which guarantee high performance air transport activities in Europe.

SESAR’s target concept relies on a number of new key features:[citation needed]

  • the network operation plan, a dynamic rolling plan for continuous operations that ensures a common view of the network situation;
  • full integration of airport operations as part of ATM and the planning process;
  • trajectory management, reducing the constraints of airspace organisation to a minimum;
  • new aircraft separation modes, allowing increased safety, capacity and efficiency;
  • system-wide information management (SWIM), securely connecting all the ATM stakeholders which will share the same data;
  • humans as the central decision-makers: controllers and pilots will be assisted by new automated functions to ease their workload and handle complex decision-making processes.

The SESAR project has a parallel in the NextGen project within the United States.[citation needed]

Warning ; There are Investments scams if you are not careful

Monday, May 28, 2012
AsiaOne

SINGAPORE – A group of more than 20 investors are crying foul after investing more than $10 million in a Hong Kong-based start-up which has failed to take off.
They include an MP, several businessmen and lawyers, who are unnamed due to requests of anonymity.
The business was supposedly an online marketing portal for regional suppliers looking to sell products in China, started by a Hong Kong businessman who appeared to have links to Chinese and Hong Kong officials.
According to a report in The Straits Times (ST), eight of the investors claimed to have been approached by a trusted stockbroker in 2006 and 2007.The investors claim that they were told that the company, which had been developed over a period of six years, was worth HK$857 million (S$140 million).
They said that they were not allowed to see the business’ accounts, and were led to believe that it was doing well.
It was even rumoured that Hong Kong and Macau tycoons like Mr Richard Li and Mr Stanley Ho had invested in the company.
One of the investors, who claimed to have met the businessman before, said that the businessman “had a way of talking, and making it seem like he knew many people.’
Investors were only told that the business was failing late last year, and some started to file police reports from February this year.
The former stockbroker, who was in charge of approaching investors here, has also filed a police report against the businessman.
While he was paid $10,000 a month, the stockbroker alleged that he was forced to resign and was cursed at by the businessman.
He has since moved to Malaysia as the scandal has prevented him from getting a job here.
ST reported that attempts to reach the Hong Kong businessman have failed.

ljessica@sph.com.sg
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Everything need to be clearly spelled in black and white, never trust anything from sources of unknown origins or heresay, better do your own homework and get a good lawyer or you may end up losing your entire life savings.
– Contributed by Oogle.